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Understanding Colostomy Procedures 

A colostomy is a surgical procedure that makes a temporary or permanent opening for the colon through the abdomen. It’s a procedure that may be recommended following an injury or operation to the bowels or intestines. The goal of a colostomy is to provide a way for stool to filter into a bag that is attached to the outside of the abdomen, rather than traveling through the bowels and rectum.

When is a Colostomy Needed?

A colostomy may be performed to help treat a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including:  

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Colorectal cancers or injuries 
  • Diverticulitis and other severe infections
  • Perineum fistulas (an abnormal connection between organs) 
  • A partial or complete bowel blockage

Types of Colostomy

There are two types of colostomy procedures – a temporary procedure and a permanent, or end, procedure:

  • An end colostomy involves attaching the colon to the abdominal wall to form of an opening (or stoma) where stool can empty into a colostomy bag.
  • A temporary colostomy is similar, but also involves creating a corresponding hole in the abdomen to more easily place the colon back in its natural position when the time is right.

Complications from Colostomy

Colostomy itself is not a complicated procedure. But as with any surgery, it can lead to certain complications. The most common ones include:

  • Wound opening
  • Skin irritation
  • Bowel blockage caused by scar tissue
  • Development of a hernia at the incision
  • Narrowing of the colostomy opening

Why TGH?

At Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center, we offer advanced treatments and well-rounded care to patients with all types of gastrointestinal issues, including those that could lead to colostomy. In fact, TGH has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals in Gastroenterology & GI Surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2019-20. Our specialists and surgeons collaborate to provide world-class treatment to our patients, who benefit from our individualized approach care for gastrointestinal issues. And, with a staff dedicated to helping patients with everything from preparing for surgery to proper stoma care, TGH provides attentive and personalized care to everyone who walks through our doors.

Contact Tampa General Hospital today if you are experiencing a gastrointestinal issue or have any questions regarding colostomy procedures. If you want to consult with a TGH gastroenterologist regarding a health concern, take advantage of our convenient online Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-3627.